Morgan Stanley and UBS Vie for First Spot in Offering Spot Bitcoin ETFs

April 4, 2024
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Leading investment banks Morgan Stanley and UBS are locked in a competitive race to be the first to offer spot Bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs) to their clients in the U.S. This development signifies a major step toward the mainstream adoption of cryptocurrencies within the traditional financial sector.

Unverified Insider Information Hints at Launch Dates

Citing industry sources, crypto enthusiast @AP_Abacus suggests an imminent launch, with Morgan Stanley aiming to become the first wirehouse to fully approve a Bitcoin ETF.

Andrew’s report on Tuesday indicates that UBS is also preparing to approve Bitcoin ETFs next week. The news aligns with recent speculations about both banks embracing Bitcoin ETFs.

However, Bloomberg ETF expert Eric Balchunas advises caution, suggesting both banks might be in a “holding pattern,” awaiting each other’s moves due to compliance considerations.

The perception of cryptocurrency has undergone a significant transformation, moving from skepticism to widespread acknowledgment. Initially, Morgan Stanley CEO James Gorman expressed doubts about Bitcoin’s suitability as an institutional asset class. However, a notable shift in sentiment is evident, with the bank now poised to adopt Bitcoin ETFs.

Overcoming Regulatory Hurdles

The introduction of spot Bitcoin ETFs in the U.S. on January 11 was a landmark event following years of regulatory scrutiny. However, customers of major banks like UBS and Citi have faced limited access due to various compliance hurdles.

Potential Impact on Bitcoin Valuation

The intensifying competition between Morgan Stanley and UBS has the potential to influence Bitcoin’s valuation. The upcoming halving event scheduled for April 20 could be a further driver. Historically, Bitcoin Cash has experienced a price surge before its halving, and a similar trend might be expected for Bitcoin.

If historical patterns hold, Bitcoin’s value could potentially double, reaching close to $150,000 per Bitcoin by the halving date. However, it’s important to note that past performance is not necessarily indicative of future results.

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